Once a month, we send out an email update on cycling in the Richmond Borough. If you’d like to sign up for these, contact us here to be first to hear the cycling news that affects you across the borough.
We also post the newsletters here on our website the following week. Read below and enjoy! Previous newsletters can be found here.
The festive period is over and now it’s time to plan ahead for 2013 (and work off some of those mince pies!) We’ve news of our Annual Meeting on Monday, a jaunt to Box Hill and the follow up article in The Richmond Magazine to that editorial
On Monday 14 January we have our Annual Meeting in The Old Ship pub in Richmond at 8pm. It’s an opportunity to hear what we got up to in 2012 and our plans for 2013. Come along if you’d like to get involved – no matter how small a part you can play, it really helps. Location details online – http://is.gd/eahg52
Our 2013 ride program kicks off this weekend with our now traditional post turkey ‘Ride for Explorers’ to Box Hill this Sunday 13 January. We meet at Twickenham Riverside – by Eel Pie Bridge at 10.30am. Details available online – http://is.gd/8pOPtI
Our first ‘Ride for Everyone’ is to Bushy Park the following week on Saturday 19 January. Meet at Teddington Station (West Side) at 10.15am. Details online – http://is.gd/sBg3ep
If you’re coming to either of these rides, send Paul, our Rides Coordinator, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we know how many to expect and also to let you know if we need to cancel the ride due to weather conditions.
There is also a Breeze Women’s Ride on Wednesday 16 January at 11am in Bushy Park. Read this guest post from the organiser for more details – http://is.gd/61rief
Twickenham Cycle Lane Removal
Last month we reported on our meeting with Richmond Council’s Principal Transport Planner in November. You can read more in this update (http://is.gd/S5sQN6) but at the time we came away more optimistic over a number of commitments including that cycle lane width would be in addition to, not part of the motor lane width. The next episode was earlier this week when at the ‘Environment, Sustainability and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee’ meeting we saw the proposed drawing of the cycle lanes for the first time in detail. Sadly we were to be disappointed. Disjointed, advisory cycle lanes that form part of the nearside motor lane and are only in operation off peak, no consideration at junctions other than ASLs and a taxi rank to dodge. Not a design you would feel particularly safe cycling to school with your kids. You can see the outline in this post – http://is.gd/cX4B8v. We have raised our objections but it is likely that the council will now proceed with the plans as they stand. The changes have been picked up in this local blog (http://is.gd/PqOJpy) and in the Richmond and Twickenham Times (http://is.gd/JcePOE) – the substantial number of comments on both articles make interesting reading.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the rush of consultations at the end of the year. We will keep a close watch on the outcome of the consultations to see if our comments have been taken on board, particularly for the Teddington (http://is.gd/FlWtXM), Upper Richmond Road West (http://is.gd/9VxYWz) and Whitton (http://is.gd/CE71vN) consultations. The Barnes proposals which we earlier objected to have now been dropped.
We haven’t spotted any new consultations in the borough this month – we’ll continue to monitor the council’s Consultation page (http://is.gd/JnijLg)
Cycle Liaison Group Meeting
The next meeting with the council specifically on cycling is on 29 January. We have struggled in making these meetings worthwhile, partly because in the past we’ve been banned from raising cycle infrastructure related issues (these blog posts by a local cyclist captures recent meetings – http://is.gd/CrSmnx). This is coupled with the council’s refusal to consult with us directly on road schemes, even when these schemes are related to cycle infrastructure. We’ve therefore written an open letter to the Council’s Cycling Champion to address this situation, you can read it online – http://is.gd/FeqVRu
We were also contacted by a new cyclist who wanted to share her perspectives on cycling in Richmond. We think it makes a great read and many of you will recognise the points she makes. If we are to make cycling a truly enjoyable experience for everyone, not just confident and experienced cyclists, then the CLG meetings need to look to address these concerns – http://is.gd/ox5saM
The Richmond Magazine and Cycling to School
As we reported last month, Richard Nye, editor of The Richmond Magazine, (infamous for this editorial – http://is.gd/IRnBjq) joined us at one of the after school bike clubs run by mobile bike club, The Turning Hub (http://is.gd/KGiiQm). You can now read the article which the Richmond Magazine published as a follow up to the visit – http://is.gd/olY1pB. A big thank you to Jonathan for organising the event and hosting Richard and his colleague on the day.
Cycle safety and more broadly road safety continued to feature in the national press this month. The subject of 20mph limits was the subject of an article and editorial in the Independent (http://is.gd/xYTrPw and http://is.gd/G4FOjf) When you see this diagram which illustrates that stopping distances at 20mph are half those at 30mph, you can see the benefit of 20 mph zones – http://is.gd/DH8LIX
Two other stories in the headlines were court cases. The first was for the lorry driver who seriously injured Mary Bowers (which launched the Times ‘Cities Safe for Cyclists’ campaign) (http://is.gd/OqKDHU) Despite being on the phone at the time of the incident and that in the aftermath of the collision, he left the handbrake off so that the lorry continued to roll over Ms Bowers, the driver was cleared of dangerous driving, convicted instead of the lesser offence of careless driving, walking away with only a £2,700 fine and an 8 month driving ban.
The second was for Sam Harding, who was killed when a motorist opened his car door into his path (known as dooring), causing him to come off his bike and be killed by an bus that was following him (http://is.gd/0mS62Z). Despite the fact that the motorist was found to have coated his windows with a dark plastic film which reduced visibility out of the car by 83%, he was cleared of manslaughter
Two interesting posts look at the legal side of the cases (http://is.gd/YmiW11 and http://is.gd/KRUSrM) and it can be clearly seen why cycling organisations are calling on the government to carry out a comprehensive review of the justice system when someone is hurt on the roads (http://is.gd/9vQz7v)
Sustrans have launched a petition urging Mayor Boris Johnson to build the world’s biggest cycle network by 2020 – 1000km of cycling routes connecting every borough across Greater London. You can read more about the campaign (http://is.gd/Igv1Bn) and sign the petition here – http://is.gd/ArOiN6
These will be back next month. In the meantime, here’s a link to a great site with some maintenance tutorials – http://is.gd/2UQaIs If you get it wrong, Jonathan will be on hand in the usual places to help you put it right from February – http://is.gd/oKpKQW
Better by Bike
Next month, we’ll be back with posts on the theme of ‘Shop Local’. Let us know of any local cycle friendly businesses in the borough, be they shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes. Anywhere that makes you feel welcome as a customer coming by bike.
Cycling Cinema and Cycling Santas
Action Bikes were busy in December with their Cycling Cinemas and Santa rides (some great photos of Santa Suited Cyclists roaming the borough – http://is.gd/uYDYhd) Across all the events, they raised £1554 for Re~Cycle
Tour de France 2014
Date for your diaries – the tour is coming back to the UK, with two stages in Yorkshire and a third stage finishing in London (http://is.gd/MJZtKt) You can even sign up to volunteer as a ‘Le Tour Maker’ – http://is.gd/gnqZaQ
Think you need a car to cart the kids around? You need to have a look at this blog (which has some really nice photos) – http://is.gd/Z7jFRF
Thanks for reading and keep cycling. Feel free to pass this email on to anyone who may benefit and don’t hesitate to get in touch through email@example.com to help make the borough a nicer and safer place to live and cycle. You can see our list of cycling events in the borough on our online calendar: http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/category/events and if you’ve missed any of our newsletters, they are all online – http://www.richmondlcc.co.uk/category/newsletters